Please note: This list is currently being updated regularly, with further links and suggestions coming in from loyal blog followers and Genii Forum readers. Thank you all!
Bored to the bone at home? Or even quarantined? Here are some tips on what you could get and do now. In total, it easily adds up to more than 2,000 free pages of magic to digest:
Chief Genii Richard Kaufman has just kindly provided a link to a free read of his classic work, CardWorks. Enjoy!
Or take the time to read Paco Nagata‘s fine book, The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician, which is an enlightening labor of love on 554 pages. It’s huge, and you can download it for free here.
Jamy Ian Swiss wrote 71 (!) masterful essays for Magicana featuring and analyzing many of the leading practitioners of magic, accompanied by carefully selected performance videos. You can find them here.
The Science of Magic Association has provided their newsletter readers with a lovely list of “SOMA’s Social Isolation Suggestions,” which includes several links both to videos and interesting websites. Check it out here.
Magic historian and publisher Marco Pusterla kindly offers you free access to any back issue of his “Ye Olde Magic Mag.” Learn here how to get access.
Or check out Paul Romhany‘s VANISH magazine. It’s a change bag full of diverse topics, and I feel there’s always at least one interesting piece in each issue. The eight latest issues can be downloaded for free here.
Go see my recent post on some of my personal heroes and wizards of the world wide web. There’s a lot more free stuff to get and to digest via the links I have compiled there.
Head over to lybrary.com or to any other magic dealer. Check out their free downloads, but also try to spend a few bucks, if you can, to help support the magic community in the new age of anxiety. And get some new books, manuscripts, or tricks in order to learn and improve in the arts. Just two examples that will keep you busy for a while:
Lybrary.com offers, among many other things, three volumes of Lives of the Conjurers by Professor Solomon for free here. Hundreds of pages for a nice and easy read. In fact, they currently have a total of 135 (!) publications that you can get for free – see them all here.
Vanishing Inc. has, among other things, Magic in Mind for free. A few years ago, Joshua Jay “set out to assemble some of the most important, influential, and helpful essays on magic ever written, and make them available to all serious students of magic for free.” That’s 500 pages of great thinking and inspiration!
Whoops, we have just missed a weekend of free access to Kozmo‘s site, Reel Magic, which he offered in order to “enjoy the weekend, learn some magic and forget about all of this crap that’s happening around us.” Nice! However, one issue of of his DVD series (No. 41) remains accessible for free. Check it out here.
Chris Michael and Danny Orleans (the latter a co-founder of AmazeKids) are working on a preschool theme show. In their words, it’s “about how to prevent the spread of the virus. You can bet it’ll be a perfect program for them when schools re-open.” Both are currently writing a complete script for it, but they allow you to create your own themed show based around their ideas, which I find quite amazing, kids, and very generous. The Title is “Scrub-a-Dub-Dub” and you can download a free outline here.
Silly Billy (David Kaye) was quick in putting together a free ebook called “11 Things Every Performer Should Do During The Coronavirus Qurantine.” It’s useful and a quick, fun read.
Videos: As the Portland Magic Jam also had to be cancelled, each of the four headliners (Max Maven, Shawn Farquhar, Stephen Bargatze, and John Shryock kindly agreed to do a small online lecture – for free. It’s scheduled for Sunday, March 28, 1:00 p.m. in Portland, Oregon (which should be Pacific Standard Time). Check it out here.
Haven’t heard much from the UK’s Magiflix project recently, but they do have a small free video section available here where you can learn the “Pre-Prefiguration” card trick (by Jennings/Elsdon), which is astonishing, simple, and totally impromptu.
The inimitable David Stone has uploaded a quick and funny short Corona Card Virus Trick here which you really shouldn’t miss!
And then there’s coin master and all-around wizard Helge Thun, who keeps us spellbound with his Chinese-American Corona Virus Coin War:
If you are rather into High Brow entertainment, why don’t you check out Teller‘s production of Macbeth which he directed a few years ago?
Plus: Already looking forward to this treas(h)ure from Milk Can Magic Motion Pictures!
Work on new ideas, thoughts, moves, tricks, and presentations! Time is on your hands. Bingeviewing may make you happy, bingeforumsurfing may make you miserable, but both options won’t make you much smarter or better in anything…
Read or learn other stuff outside of magic. The other day, my younger boy created this fine rendition for me of America’s Premier Illusionist, Master Deceptionist, Bizarrist and Contortionist, THE GREAT DONALDILI. And it just took him a few minutes. Pure magic! I’d like to learn that, too! (So far, I can only move around stuff in Powerpoint, see above…)
Make plans for the future, or at least give it a thought: How will we emerge from this global crisis? What changes are likely to happen in your personal environment, your business or maybe in your career? Do you already have a plan B? What do you want to change?
There may be lots of problems ahead; but what about the opportunities? If you’re a magician, conjure up some good spirit for yourself and for others and get to work!
Finally: Use your head! Be cautious, be sensible, take care of your loved ones and yourself, and please stay safe!